Although most people start trimming and shaving as soon as puberty hits, there are still some aspects around shaving that elude even the most experienced razor-wielders. Here is a breakdown of dos and don’ts, for a silky-smooth shave.
When it’s been a while
At some point, you will have gone a week or two without shaving. To save your razor from a one-stroke clog-up, it may be wise to do some damage control first. Depending on what area you are tackling, you can go in with an electric clipper first, or opt for a hair removal cream to do some of the grunt work.
A hair removal cream is not advised for sensitive areas, but does wonders for large areas such as your arms, legs, armpits. Caution is advised around the groin areas as well. Always do a patch test, to look for any possible negative reactions before you do entire sections.
Once you have removed most of the hair, or trimmed it down, maintaining the area will be much easier.
Do this the day before you shave, if you can. This will prevent you from damaging your skin further if you have any irritation.
The act of shaving may actually remove leftover dead skin cells, clogging up your pores and your razor with sebum. Avoid this by exfoliating your skin before you shave.
For your face, you can use:
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Exfoliator, 150ml
- Placecol Clearing Scrub Mask, 50ml
- Clarins Men Exfoliating Cleanser, 125ml
- Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub, 89ml
For your body, use:
- Rooibos Exfoliating Body Scrub, 200ml
- Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub For Smooth Skin, 200ml
- Jack Black Turbo Body Bar Scrubbing Soap, 177ml
For your groin / bikini line area, it is best to only wash with an unscented soap or intimate wash, using a clean washcloth and warm water.
For women, we recommend:
- GynaGuard Intimate Wash, 140ml Essential
- GynaGuard Intimate Wash, 140ml Ultimate
- Femagene Soap Bar, 100g
Women have a delicate pH balance to maintain which can be disrupted by, scented or harsh soaps.
Soften your skin and hairs
Once you are clean and exfoliated, it is best to soften up your skin and hairs. Soaking in the bath or letting the warm shower run over your skin for a few minutes will help to minimise goosebumps. Shaving over goosebumps will cause razor-burn.
Once your skin is warm and wet, you can apply a shaving cream or -gel. Shaving cream creates a thin layer of protection between the blade and the skin, ensuring less friction and minimising the risk of redness, razor-burnand irritation. They also contain skin softening ingredients.
- Gillette Skinguard Sensitive Shaving Gel, 200ml
- Clarins Men Smooth Shave, 150ml
- Beard Boys Shaving Cream, 100ml
- Gillette Satin Care Sensitive Skin Shave Gel, 200ml
- Gillette Venus Olay Shaving Gel Vanilla Dream, 200ml
Make sure your razor is clean and rust free
To clean your razor, simply rinse it under running water. You don't need to use soaps or a brush, this will dull the blades. If there is clogged hair debris on your blades, immerse your razor in warm water to soften the blockage. Shake it gently until all hair is removed.
Always store your razorblade near the window or doorway, where the room gets most ventilation. Shake off excess water after every use and don’t leave your razor in a position in the shower or bath where it remains wet for extended periods of time. At the first signs of rust, replace your razor blades.
- Gillette Mach 3 Special Pack Razor and Blades, 3's
- Gillette Fusion Power Cartridges, 4's
- Gillette Venus and Olay Cartridges, 4's
- Gillette Skinguard Sensitive Razor 1UP
Never share a razor
Sharing razors can transfer bacteria from one person to the next and cause an infection. You may be willing to risk it, but they may not.
Once you have shaved, use a moisturiser on the area to soothe your skin.
For the face area, we recommend:
- Clarins Men After Shave Soother, 75ml
- Nivea Men Post Shave Balm Sensitive, 100ml
- Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel, 98ml
For your body, we recommend a fragrance-free moisturiser, if you have sensitive skin.
For areas such as the armpits and groin area, moisturisers may not work well as those areas typically sweat more.
It may be tempting to use your favourite body spray and deodorant, but it is best not to use any products that contain alcohol or fragrance directly on the skin when you have just shaved. To avoid discomfort, alternate between your usual deodorant and a fragrance-free / sensitive skin option.
If you have razor-burn, give it time
Some feel like they have to shave every day. Or they missed a spot and need to shave again to get everything off.
If your skin is a bit inflamed, give it a day or two before you whip out the blades again. If you shave a spot where your skin is already broken, you may end up with an infection.
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